In this episode, RJ Priyanka is in conversation with Wildlife Conservationist and Naturalist, Rahul Aradya. They discuss the effects of plastic on the environment and ways to reduce plastic use. Rahul is currently working with the Karnataka Forest Department to conduct the ‘Chinnara Vana Darshana’. He has also been working with the BBMP Forest Cell for the past 6 years as a rescuer, and has served as a Naturalist at the Tea Estates India Limited, Valparai, for the past 14 months. He also conducts biodiversity awareness programs for school kids and training programs for volunteers.
“Immeasurable tonnes of plastic has taken over the earth – it has reached the deepest of oceans and the heart of pristine jungles. Today, 100 million marine mammals are killed each year as they get entangled or accidentally consume plastic material. About 30 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea each year and 90 percent of all sea birds have plastic in their bodies,” he says. Toxic chemicals contained in plastic are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us living beings and exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity and endocrine disruption. Plastics are also blocking rain water from seeping into the ground. “In wildlife reserves, plastic has been killing a lot of mammals and birds because they mistake plastic for food and consume it!”
We all have a responsibility to act on this. As individuals, what we can do is use cloth bags instead of plastic covers for everyday use, avoid pet bottles and carry our own water bottles. Let’s avoid purchasing chips packets or any other snack which is sold in plastic packets, because they cannot be recycled. Let’s all be responsible tourists and not throw garbage inside reserves, especially bottles and chips packets.